Smart mapping emerged with this year’s March release of ArcGIS Online, providing a smarter, more sophisticated approach to symbolising data. Replacing the formerly available ‘change symbols’ option, smart mapping is available to a variety of ArcGIS Online layer types (feature services, dynamic layers, stream services and CSV, SHP and GPX map added data, to name a few), and is accessed via a layer’s change style control () in the map viewer contents display.
The smart mapping toolset presents logical symbology options to the ArcGIS Online map maker. These options are derived based on a subject layer’s characteristics, the data type (point, line or polygon), as well as the spatial distribution of the layer’s features together with the variation of values across a subject display field.
Additionally, other evident display characteristics are assessed, such as symbology used by an underlying basemap. Consequently aesthetic, meaningful and size appropriate symbology options are proposed in this data driven, ‘smart’ approach to layer symbolisation.
The smart mapping capability also includes controls for ‘tweaking’ presented symbology classifications, removing unwanted values, and honing in on trends of interest. The tools allow patterns in data distributions to be explored, represented and emphasised.
Heat maps may be generated to accommodate high density point mapping, while useful symbology themes are available to readily represent rates of change and data values of interest. Transparency controls and symbol rotation controls allow additional attribute fields to be utilised in symbology display, proportional symbols are truly proportional, and well-known manual classification methods, such as equal interval and quantile, are also accessible.
These examples are just a snapshot of smart mapping capabilities, however, many others exist. For a quick look at further examples, you might like to view the below pre-recording I made for this year’s Ozri conference.
Next time you are working in ArcGIS Online, take a few minutes and explore the smart mapping toolset. The quality of the information product you’ll subsequently create will be testament to the fact you did.